Disaster: Day of Crisis is a multi-event game developed by Monolith Software, first showed in a non-playable form at e3 2006. At the time, the game was compatible only with the classic controller, and the gameplay was much more action-oriented. In 2007 Monolith reworked the interface dramatically in order to take advantage of the Wiimote. Disaster was finally released in 2008.
Unfortunately we don’t have much footage of the 2006 build, but in the screenshot and in the videos of this page we can see how different was the HUD.
Retro Studios intended to give Metroid Prime 3: Corruption larger environments than Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and enable the game to run at 60 frames per second. The developers were also interested in using the WiiConnect24 feature to provide additional content for the game that would be accessible from the Internet. A small Metroid Prime 3 Tech Demo was shown at E3 2005, created with the MP2 3D Engine. Nintendo then demonstrated how Metroid Prime 3 would take advantage of the controller’s special abilities with a version of Echoes modified for the Wii and shown at the Tokyo Game Show in 2005. The title Corruption and some of the first gameplay footage were revealed at Nintendo’s Media Release at the E3 2006 trade show.
From early screenshots we can notice that the Ridley fight in the beta did not have Meta-Ridley as in the final, different HUD, graphic details and thanks to some concept arts we can see various early character designs that were created before the final ones.
Also, thanks to a model viewer created by Interdpth and Revel8n, it is possible to find various unused models hidden in the game’s data. You can download the Metroid Prime model viewer (mpxviewer) in here. If you are able to find more unused models, please do let us know.
In January 2012, thanks to fundraising organized by user over on Assembler Games, a 2006 demo, which documented a beta version of the second planet of Metroid Prime 3, was dumped and released to the community. The proto was developed to run on Gamecube hardware with 128 mb of ram, so it’s playable only on a custom version of the Wii emulator Dolphin. Using the debug menu it is possible to active/deactivate the various power-up and to try the third-person camera. The map is still incomplete, so only a few areas are accessible. Apart from minor differences, the general layout of the location is remarkably similar to the final version. Cutscenes are unfinished, and of course the interface is still based on the gamecube controller.
Before being closed down by THQ, Big Huge Games were working on a simulation / adventure game for the Wii, that was know as “God The Game”. It was going to be a mix between Black & White, Animal Crossing, Little King’s Story and Zelda.. at least from the few informations and concept arts leaked from the project. The game was cancelled in late 2008 when THQ ran into financial difficulties.
In May 2009, Factor 5’s american studio was closed down, because (as we can read from the official F5’s website) “obstacles created by the sudden bankrupcy of Brash Entertainment for the continuation of operations have turned out too great to overcome in the current economic climate”. The projects that were still in development should have been moved to the german studio, but it’s currently unknow if they will be able to complete them or if those games are going to be cancelled.
2 unannounced Wii games were in development at Factor’s 5 as we can read from an interesting article over at GoneIsGone, one of which was a flight simulation game. From the few 3D models available from this “Flight Project” it seems that we would have been able to fly all over the world with different aeroplanes and space-crafts (probably an easter egg from previous F5’s Star Wars titles). We can speculate that this prototype was developed from the concept of the – never released – F5’s Pilotwings for the GameCube and created with the Wii Lair Engine.
On December 2009, ShockingAlberto from the NeoGAF forum, posted some more assets from this project. One of the images has a different graphic style from the other assets, with a more cartoony / stylized characters. We can speculate that at some point in the development, Factor 5 decided to change the style of the game to appeal more to casuals and families.
It would be really nice to play a new flight simulation developed by F5 and we really hope that they could be able to finish and release this project.
Spyborgs, formerly known as Team Alpha GO!, is a futuristic beat’em up game for the Wii, developed by Bionic Games and published by Capcom, and released in September 2009. In Spyborgs, the player take control of a team of 3 cyborg secret agents, each with their own unique abilities, through several levels in order to solve a plot to kidnap and destroy every cyborgs in the world. Players can choose among 3 characters: Stinger, a soldier with a cybernetic gun arm, Bouncer, a powerful robot, and Clandestine, a female ninja.
Team Alpha GO! was initially a coop brawler with environmental puzzles presented like a campy and comedic Saturday morning cartoon that people could play. Each episode of the show would introduce a new level of the game. It also featured mini-games that served as interludes and took the form of commercials, in order to reinforce in the player the feeling of witnessing an episode of an animated TV show.
When the game was officially revealed, in June 2008, by Capcom, it was already known as Spyborgs, and it featured 5 characters instead of 3. In addition to Stinger, Bouncer and Clandestine, there were also Voxel, who used holograms, and Kinetic, who used some kind of flying skateboard and could teleport. IGN briefly wrote:
Bionic wasn’t ready to reveal the entire cast of characters, but a trailer showed a fellow with a gun for an arm, a DJ kid who uses some sort of hologram turntables, a ninja lady, and a brutish robot named Bouncer. A gameplay presentation was given highlighting Bouncer and a teleporting character named Kinetic. It took place in a sewer, populated by bionic piranha, alligators sporting jet packs, fish in robot suits, and rotting teddy bears. Kinetic was able to “jump” short distances, like the X-men‘s Nightcrawler. Bouncer could pound the ground, leaving large cracks that appeared to be permanent.
We saw some typical examples of co-op gameplay: Kinetic would teleport across a gap and step on a switch, lowering a bridge that allowed Bouncer to cross. Gameplay also consists of a lot of running around, beating up enemies and objects a la Ratchet and Clank. But since this is all presented like a TV show, the action is frequently interrupted by commercial breaks. These are humorous little vignettes parodying toy commercials or plumbing services. But since this is a game, the commercials are playable. A spot for Nuke ‘Em Now Robots turned into a rock ’em sock ’em mini-game that played much like Wii Sports Boxing.
There are also rail shooter sections where players aim with the Remote to blast enemies. The level we were shown culminated in a boss fight against an airship, played as a rail shooter. Our heroes were in a mine cart circling the ship, blasting away at its defenses.
Bionic Games said it chose Capcom as its publisher because it knows how to extend its properties beyond games into other realms of entertainment like TV, movies, and comic books. That’s exactly what the creators of Spyborgs aim to do with their property. It’s already designed like a cartoon, and Bionic says it is currently in talks with several companies to branch out.
Spyborgs has a very kid-friendly look, but the writing is a little more mature than the visuals. We noticed several instances where swear words had been bleeped out. Of course, a lot of the gags are of the childish, toilet humor variety, as well. One commercial features two banjo-playing fish singing about poo.
However, in August of the same year, Capcom announced that the game was going to have a design overhaul:
Shown for the first time at the company’s Captivate 2008 event in June, Capcom’s Wii-exclusive action title Spyborgs is undergoing some serious … re-tooling. This news comes as little surprise, considering the game was a complete no-show at E3.
In an official forum post, Christian Svensson, Capcom’s senior director of strategic planning & research, said, “You won’t see new [Spyborgs] assets for several more months,” adding, “We’re refining it considerably.”
When Spyborgs came back under the spotlight, it was redesigned to a cooperative more traditional beat’em up game. The campy esthetic which, according to former Environment Artist Alving Chung, was inspired by the works of Maurice Binder and Saul Bass, was scrapped, alongside the idea of a playable TV show, the mini-games inspired by commercials and some levels, including the boss fight with rail-shooter elements. Characters Voxel and Kinetic were also removed as playable characters as it was pointed out by Senior Producer Daryl Allison in an interview for Nintendo World Report from August 2009:
NWR: What was behind the game’s revamping? It went from having a humorous tone and the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon, to having the feel of something along the lines of Gunstar Heroes.
DA: Originally, we had about 10 different gameplay types between the platforming, puzzle solving, and action variations. The game jumped between them and short cut scenes like a Saturday morning cartoon and that flow provided the opportunity to set up and payoff humor. That flow also let us insert playable commercials, and with those the team could go crazy with the humor. As the game moved to a more classic brawler at its core (rather than an interactive cartoon), we had to make some tough decisions. We loved the commercials. They were awesome, fun, and funny, but they just didn’t feel right anymore. They felt tacked on and became distractions that broke the flow of the game. Removing them was mostly due to making the tough decisions that were best for the game.
NWR: Why were the characters Voxel and Kinetic dropped from the roster?
DA: While no longer a playable character, Voxel still plays a role as the brains behind the outfit. He functions as mission control for the team and is seen and heard throughout the story. As for Kinetic, you’ll have to watch the Webisodes and collect the hidden audio tapes to learn more of his fate. (He’s still a Spyborgs, just not the way he was originally…)
As part of the decisions to make Spyborgs an awesome brawler, we needed to ensure our three playable heroes had appreciably different brawling styles. While it goes deeper than this, put simply: Stinger – medium power, medium speed, ranged attack; Clandestine – light power, super fast, precision combat; Bouncer – heavy power, a bit slower, area effect and knockback attacks.
In addition to the variety in gameplay styles, we also wanted to go deep with the upgrades and the variety of combos. We have unique special moves for each combo of heroes against each enemy and against each of the bosses. You start expanding that out to four or five characters and all the different combinations and it becomes either impossible to achieve some of those goals or the variety gets watered down. We knew we could maximize the depth and variety with those three and that meant Voxel and Kinetic had to find new homes.
Spyborgs released in September 2009 and received “average” scores by the press.
You can find below a gallery containing pictures before and after the redesign of the 3 playable characters, alongside the original trailer from 2008, and various cutscenes provided by Alvin Chung.
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